Monday, January 31, 2011

Pass the Zoloft...

It's that time of year again folks. The Holiday frenzy has ended. The New Years hangover has hopefully worn off. The fist pumping vigour felt January 1st has perhaps turned more into a half assed high five to the world. The days are getting longer, but not quickly enough, and the snowfall I was so gleeful about a month ago now makes me scowl at the sky.
I, like many people at this time of year, am feeling a bit SADsy. I know I have been spouting Revolution and the like. I would be a big fat liar however if I didn't admit for the past couple of weeks my Revolution has been less about setting fire to life, and more about sitting on the couch in my undies, with a can of frosting watching Ice Road Truckers
About as pretty as it sounds.
What's a girl to do? Having twin three year olds rules out liquor in the afternoon, or anytime really. Eat away the blues? Well, frosting aside, I have no desire to be crane lifted out of this house come Easter.
No my friends, I have discovered that a sure fire cure for a head in the oven afternoon is having yourself a Crafternoon. Just you and a glue gun against the world. My last post addressed my abundance of supplies, and I basically called myself out online to do something productive with them. So, I shall put the frosting down, put on some pants and steer my big rig down the road of "crafting your way to mental health blvd".

The first instalment of Crafternoon - Make your own cake stand. 
A brilliant way to marry a love of cake and vintage dishes. 

Firstly - get collecting. Yard sales, church bazaars, Value Village...all great places to grab some pretty plates.

You will also need a piece that will serve as the stand portion of the cake stand. I love little ice cream cups, they are sturdy and as you can see affordable.

Next get yourself some good sturdy glue. I have done this project with Crazy Glue, but find it hard to put enough on the rim to make it work. And inevitably I end up gluing my fingers to something. I really like this Elmer's Fix All. It goes on nice and thick and dries quickly.

Pick a plate and a stand and get started!

Line the bottom of the ice cream glass with a thick line of glue.

Turn the plate over and position the glass bottom in the middle of the plate. Once lined up press firmly. Note, you might be tempted to place the plate on the glass instead for lining up purposes. Don't. Trust me, it is much harder to line up and you end up with a cake stand that needs more cupcakes on one side to stay upright. No one likes that.

Hold in position for a minute or so, then run a damp rag around the edges wiping away any excess glue.

Place a book on top of glass to add a bit of pressure to the dry time. Leave drying for a few hours. I usually leave it overnight to be safe.

Although not necessary to the project, I like to find cheese plates with domes at flea markets and second hand shops. Repurpose the wooden part, pop the dome on your newly cemented cake plate and voila! Your very own fancy pants cake holder. Well done you!

(please note: these need to be cleaned carefully by hand...not really dishwasher safe).

Some other finished plates...

If you find you are laying around stuck for inspiration I highly recommend  looking to other crafty peoples, online or in books, to nudge you out of it. This segues nicely into another regular post I plan on featuring "Girl Crush". There are so many talented, resourceful, crafty, insanely creative ladies out there, once you start looking around it's hard to stop.

The first lady I am featuring in Girl Crush is none other than Amy Sedaris. Of course she is. Actress, craftress, hostess extraordinaire.
If I had this gals talent I would burn my own. I picked up her latest book 
"Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People", and it has made my month. So inspiring!
Especially for those of us on a budget, or stuck on what we should do with our left over
crab claws. Full of recipes, tidbits of crafting wisdom one might not necessarily think of... “Nothing ruins a lazy afternoon of crafting quite like being struck by a cottonmouth snake. Be sure to line the baseboards of your craft room with professional grade snake snares.” Brilliant, it is a delight from cover to cover.
She is definitely the lady I will be looking to for guidance when trying to clear out excess crafty supplies. And she inspired me to make cake plates, I hope I can do the same for you.
Happy gluing! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

You should have a yard

Those words were spoken to me by Dawson of Backshed Design shortly before Christmas. He and Brad were attempting to put a ceiling on my tornado of a studio. I think the sheer amount of stuff surrounding the endeavor was giving them both a rash. Now normally I would simply flip the bird and carry on with my day, but something in that statement really resonated with me. 
I like stuff. I have never met a yard sale, tag sale, bake sale, value village or swap meet that I didn't find one or more treasures to drag home. I am a supply hoarder. In the way some folks hoard guns or tinned food, I hoard glue and fancy paper and feathers and sparkles. If end times come folks I am set. "Water, no I haven't any water - but look! I bedazzled all the gas masks and made zombie traps out of vintage handbags and peacock feathers!". 
We had moved out of the city to a smaller house to simplify our lives. And yet I came with everything, more out of lack of time to sort than love of said stuff. Now I have a smaller house, that is pushing maximum density and a basement jammed with unopened boxes. Time for a change. So, in keeping with the Viva La Revolution! theme - its radical departure of stuff time. It's an easy rule of thumb really, look at something, if I haven't used it in the last year off it is carted to the Sally Anne's. 
For inspiration I am looking to Poppytalk studio tour section. Love this blog, a daily addiction and makes me want to be artier, craftier and more creative. The other is from 
Emma at The Marion House Book. Emma's blog is my other favourite form of procrastination during work time hours. There is an impeccable simple elegance in all she does, she is the less is more to my more is more. I am not expecting a miracle, but I am hoping for a wee bit  of this to rub off on me - if I just read enough inspiring posts. 
The next week will be spent reorganizing, sorting and having some tough love moments with myself. The sparkly part of my brain is already complaining.

My studio before...
My studio shortly before Christmas...
After...stay tuned, I will post a picture after the overhaul.

Now, I have not completely taken leave of my senses. I still find treasures, but with guidelines. Whatever I bring in I must take two objects not being used or appreciated out. Some may argue that that is not really radical change, just a shifting and replacing of things, in essence providing a whole new reason to shop (husband who?). 
This however is my story and I am sticking to it. I mean we did move to a town that has no gas station but at least five antique stores right on the main drag, I am only human.

Some objects that fell into the "omgireallyneedtohavethishowhaveigonethislongwithoutit"?! category. For each item, two left. Most of these will be repurposed into an item for sale later, with the exception of the Catholic font and the boots, because obviously both are too rad to part with. Maybe the squirrel too...we shall see. Stay tuned xo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finish What You Start - Childhood Dollhouse...

I had a lovely Papa. He was funny and smart and kind, and as I remember never without a treat his pocket or a joke to put a smile on your face. He made my sisters and I a beautiful dollhouse when I was a girl. It was a Christmas present, and I remember opening it and marvelling at the hinged doors and the tiny kitchen cupboards, each room carpeted and wallpapered like a proper house. It was well loved, and survived years barbie drama not to mention a few moves, a reno and even more years in the attic. I got it back a couple of Christmases ago and had big plans to fix it up for my kids. I then of course shoved it into my studio and there it stayed as a good intention and an unfinished project. 
This year I decided was the year to make it happen. I asked Dawson from Backshed Design if he could do something to fix the roof, which was well past worn. He of course came back with the most brilliant solution, a new roof complete with handle so the dollhouse can now be easily separated, a floor for each child. I discovered I am complete crap at measuring and would have made a rotten architect. I am however a wizard with a can of spray glue and the master of the cover up. If drag queens have taught me anything it's that with enough lipstick and rouge most flaws can be forgiven. And while it may now resemble Herb Tarlek's summer retreat, I think it turned out great. Most importantly my kids absolutely love it. 
My Papa passed a year ago this October. I really wish he could have seen it finished. The kitchen is now used as Shep's car garage, like a drunken sailor on shore leave Spiderman has taken up permanent residence on the stairwell, too big to fit through the opening to the second floor. I think my Grandfather would have gotten the biggest kick out of seeing his creation being loved to ruin all over again thirty years later.

Me and Papa...xo


During - new roof...



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Viva La Resolution!

It's thats time of year again folks, resolution time. And while I actively dislike the word resolution, I am feeling rather strongly the need to shake some things up. Resolve, kinda sounds like dissolve, not very positive in my opinion. So I have decided this New Years and for the New Years to come, to have a Revolution instead.  Much punchier don't you think?  
Now - I am not going to be out hurling gas soaked bricks through windows or turning over parked police vans, (I do not think that is the best way to ingratiate myself to the community of Orono), but I am going to go through my current life state and figure out what needs to be uprooted and shaken up, and get shaking. New town new habits.
First up...finish what you start.  A hard one for me, as I usually have no less than five projects on the go at once. My attention span is rather suspect and I am easily distracted by shiny things. Throw in twin three year olds and a gutted house and what you've got is one big hot mess. So, I will be making a serious effort to finish projects. Half done paintings, notebooks full of never started craft ideas, this house, the last clinging pounds of "baby weight" hanging off my behind like a chubby've been put on notice - I'ma com'n for you.